Black’s SPAR in Belfast is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year – 20 years of serving their local community.

The store, owned by Shaun & Fidelma Gormley, opened with just 10 employees in October 2002, which over the years has now doubled to a team of 20.

The opening in 2002 provided a much-needed community store and local employment in the area and has seen the store continue to provide for its local community since its opening day, investing over £300,000 in the store and undergoing three refurbishments including the addition of an instore Subway in 2008 and an Off Sales incorporated in the shop in 2015.

The store is also planning a £600,000 extension next year, enabling them to provide even more services for the local community. The retail area will double in size and include brand new services such as Freal; a milkshake and smoothie machine and Fwip; a premium ice cream machine.

The store is at the heart of the local community with the owner’s Shaun and Fidelma always taking time to get to know customers by name, welcoming them with a friendly conversation and helping them however they can.

They are also often involved with local charities and community groups, having raised over £50,000 since the opening of the store in 2002. They have held fundraisers and events in aid of Marie Curie, MND Association, The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and The People’s Kitchen Belfast, donating both vital funds and their own time to help out.

Black’s SPAR also sponsors local football teams, Santos Belfast and St.Enda’s junior team.

Shaun Gormley commented, “It is wonderful to be celebrating 20 years as a part of this brilliant community. We love seeing friendly faces coming into the store and we have developed relationships with all of our regular shoppers.

“We are delighted to be expanding the store to be able to provide our customers with bigger and better services, that will not only accommodate our grocery shoppers, but also those who are popping in for breakfast or lunch throughout the day.

“Raising money for local charities and supporting community groups has always been at the core of our business since we opened and is something that we will continue to do as the store continues to expand.”